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Sustainable Demolition

Conscientious building demolition underscores Stanford’s commitment to sustainability and demonstrates responsible management through the end of a building’s life. Through a combination of selective salvage opportunities and extensive material recycling, demolition on campus strives to meet Stanford’s sustainability goals and budget requirements, as well as minimize impact to the campus community. A balanced approach to each demolition project ensures that the building's legacy will continue to serve the university for years to come.

Frederick E. Terman Engineering Center

A Legacy of Sustainability

Completed in 1978, the Frederick E. Terman Engineering Center, iconic former home to the School of Engineering, incorporated many leading-edge sustainability features, including operable windows to facilitate passive ventilation and timber structural members sourced locally. Both natural ventilation and sustainable material sourcing are now common practice in Stanford’s new high-performance buildings. Lessons learned from both the Terman Building’s construction methodology and its operational history informed subsequent projects and thereby enriched the university’s building portfolio. When the demolition project is complete, the university will create a neighborhood park for the entire community. The Terman Building’s popular rectangular fountain will remain in place as a centerpiece of the new landscape.

Salvaged Materials

Stanford used a balanced approach to evaluate material salvage opportunities, weighing the feasibility and likelihood of reuse for various building elements against the recovery cost, schedule, and other impacts to the surrounding community. Input from the university community, including faculty and staff, as well as the Project’s contractors and consultants helped guide the selection process. More information and details regarding key salvaged items of special interest to the Stanford community are outlined in the Terman Building's demolition fact sheet.

Terman Building Fact Sheet - PDF

Recycled Materials

The Terman Building demolition project was developed to divert more than 99 percent of all building materials and components from the landfill. Material unfit for salvage was recycled, with preference given to onsite recycling where feasible. For example, concrete from the Terman Building was pulverized into compactable rock and used to infill portions of the basement to stabilize the structure during demolition and the subsequent park construction. This strategy reduced the need to truck in soil to serve the same purpose and therefore decreased the carbon footprint of the project as a whole. Where soil was required for rough grading above the pulverized concrete, it was obtained from excavation spoils associated with concurrent campus projects.